“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens. [Pakistan] has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists.” President Trump in Afghanistan strategy speech.
- Pakistan MOD official statement on War on Terror: After Afghan War 1979, due to change of policy Pakistan was left alone to deal with around 4 million afghan refugees, gun culture, narcotics proliferation, rise of Jihadis and religious militancy. FATA was being used as sanctuary by various warring Afghan warlords who were fighting for the piece of pie. Rise of Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan further aggravated the problem. Non state actors emerged as a political force and terrorism surfaced as a major challenge. The event of 9/11 proved to be a turning point in galvanizing the world to combat this menace through unified and concerted efforts. Pakistan has been suffering from the effects of terrorism for over two decades, even before it became a global issue but the world has realized the magnitude of this problem only over the past few years. UN adopted anti terrorist resolution, which include the use of force, denial of safe heavens and the financing of terrorists. US formed a coalition of nations to fight the global war on terror and Pakistan joined the coalition for war against terrorism for its national interest……Since 2013, in FATA security forces have carried out 161 major and minor operations against terrorists and achieved unprecedented success. Over 3000 terrorists have been killed and almost 4000 apprehended.
- Military Operations have created an environment conducive for the political process. Problem of Taliban lies in Afghanistan. Taliban do have some support. Our efforts are focused on effectively checking and eliminating this support. Over 4 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan have complicated this problem because these camps provided sanctuaries to Taliban. Presently over 1200000 security forces ( Army and FC) are guarding the 1100 check posts on the western border.
his country harbors terrorists shortly after President Trump’s speech according to VOA.
“There is neither any tolerance nor any safe haven for any terrorist in Pakistan. Pakistan has paid the highest price for [fighting] terrorism. So, we are fighting terrorism not for any country’s sake, but for our own future and for our country’s sake,” Iqbal told VOA.
Pakistan’s military chief also reacted strongly to President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad takes billions of dollars in aid money from Washington and helps militants plotting deadly terrorist attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.
“We are not looking for any material or financial assistance from USA, but trust, understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions,” General Qamar Javed Bajwa told the U.S. ambassador in a meeting at Pakistan army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Trump harshly criticized Pakistan, asserting Washington is paying Islamabad “billions and billions of dollars”, but the South Asian nation is sheltering the terrorists U.S. forces are fighting on the other side of the border.
Bajwa in his meeting with Ambassador David Hale reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is as important for Pakistan as for any other country.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the United States could consider punishing Pakistan or cutting off its status as a major non-NATO ally if Islamabad doesn’t crack down on the Taliban and other extremist groups.
“There’s been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organizations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan,” Tillerson told reporters at the State Department in Washington on August 22, RFE reported.
“We have done a lot towards that end and shall keep on doing our best, not to appease anyone, but in line with our national interest and national policy,” noted the Pakistani military chief.
The general underscored the need for “collaboration and synergy of effort” among stakeholders to successfully bring the long Afghan war to its logical conclusion.
U.S. and Afghan officials allege the Pakistani military’s spy agency is facilitating Taliban insurgents and militants of the dreaded Haqqani network to launch attacks in Afghanistan.
Pakistani security forces have uprooted all terrorist bases on their soil, including that of the Haqqani network, and have also shared evidence with top American military officials who visited Islamabad just days before Trump delivered his speech, officials insist.
“The [Pakistan] army chief made an offer to them that “you [U.S] pick up a point, you chose the time because you say there are training camps in Pakistan and let’s go and you would see it for yourself whether they are there,” Ghafoor told VOA.